Thursday, October 30, 2008


As I was doing my devotions this morning it seemed so relevant to what we are experiencing in our world around us. Here's a little excerpt:

Jacob said "For what a relief it is to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the smile of God!" Genesis 33:10

A smile is nourishment for the heart, and laughter is medicine for the soul- but sometimes, amid the stresses of the day, we forget to take our medicine. Instead of viewing our world with a mixture of optimism and humor, we allow worries and distractions to rob us of the joy that God intends for our lives.
Today, as you go about your daily activities approach life with a smile on your lips and hope in your heart. Look for reasons to laugh and to smile. The world needs every smile it can get, including yours!
The more you look for humor the more you'll find it

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I got nothin....well almost nothin

I was telling Mari today that I had nothing to blog about and she reminded me that she tagged me awhile back to pick the 6th folder of pictures in my files and post the 6th picture in the file.
Well here you go:

We really do have some beautiful sunsets around here!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sewing or torment

I saw Laura's post on her dog and it reminded me I was going to show the torture Oscar had to go through awhile back too.
Arianna had a friend over and they decided to sew together and they thought it would be great to sew an outfit (cape) for Oscar.
Here are the results:

I hate to say it- but I actually think it's pretty cute. Oscar wouldn't agree with me though!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

All I want for Christmas.....

Well if you asked Arianna that question she would say - to go to a Taylor Swift Concert.

Well her Christmas came early. On Tuesday night she had a special daddy daughter date because Mark took her to the Taylor Swift concert.
Yes- it is a big part of her Christmas this year because those tickets were not cheap!
Before I ordered them I gave her the choice of a normal Christmas or having this be most of her Christmas and she chose the concert. I hope she remembers how fun it was come Christmas day!

They had a great time- even Mark said it was a really good concert. I'm so glad they both enjoyed themselves!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

While I was at the retreat, Mark and the girls carved our pumpkins that we grew.
I was thrilled, because I'm not a lover of the mess that goes along with this fun time!

I think they did a really good job and the girls were really proud of their pumpkins!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mackinaw Retreat

I'm back from Mackinaw and we had a great time!
I don't quite know where to begin so I'll start with the hotel. We stayed at the Grand Hotel which was just beautiful! I don't know how we got so lucky because the hotel assigns the rooms and we ended up in the Grand Suite. I looked it up when I got home and to stay in the room it's $875 a night!

Now the decorating is not how I would decorate but it was beautiful in a very fancy, regal, old palace way:

This is the front of the hotel:

The entrance to our room:

This was my bed:

This was once we were in the room- the hallway leading to our room and lounge area:

This is the lounge area where we also had a room that we could entertain and serve beverages to guests we had come into our room!

We had formal dining for supper. It was delicious!
Here's our menu for supper:

I had the banana-strawberry soup with candied pecans, the salad,
the garlic beef and the pumpkin torte with blood orange sauce.
Here's a picture of the beef:

Here's the pumpkin torte:

Here's the dining room musicians and a picture of the dining room:

Here are a few more random pics of the hotel and of the bridge at sunset- it was so beautiful!

On to the retreat:
The main speaker was Anthony Campolo. He was interesting. He talked about having a servants heart and showing Christs love even when it's not comfortable. He convicted me of a few things!!
Gracia Burnham and Katie Brown were the break out speakers. Gracia was the missionary who got kidnapped and held for a year and her husband was killed in a gun fight. I enjoyed her talk. Katie Brown is a lifestyle personality on TV- she also was good but they both just basically told their life stories and we felt like we didn't take anything out of their speeches. Still they were very interesting though.

The musical performance was Selah! I love them so I was very excited to hear them live. This was actually the most powerful moment for me. Todd (the main singer) has had a very rough year as they lost a baby this year. He ended up speaking about the loss of pregnancies and how it is a real loss etc...
He ended up having people stand that lost children in pregnancies. Now it's been 10 years since I lost the twins and 99% of the time I'm fine, but boy did it hit me then.
I don't want to say alot about this but lets just say that with my in-laws there were some very hurtful things said at that time so when my mother in law took my hand as I cried and my sister in law hugged me and shed tears herself it was very healing.
The interesting thing was that when Katie Brown was telling her story- she also has lost children and spoke about the hurt of what others say at that time. I don't think it was a coincidence that we were all together for both of these experiences.
God brings healing- it may take years, but it's in His time and it's so sweet!

We had such a good time. Lots of laughter and I mean lots- lots of great food, beautiful scenery and good fellowship.
Who could ask for more!

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Monday, October 13, 2008


Well it's that time of year again. We always make a trip to this apple orchard every year. The kids look forward to the donuts and apple cider and also the apples!

This year Oscar also came with us and he was the hit of the orchard. Every one kept coming over to pet him. I can't blame them- look how cute he was:

We had a hard time eating our donuts and cider outside because the bee's were so bad this year- but they still tasted so yummy. Didn't have a chance to get a picture of that- we were too busy trying not to get stung!

I guess it wasn't only Oscar that got tired out from the afternoon!

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Apple Dumplings with Blackberry Sauce

I made these last night and they were so yummy- thought I'd share the recipe so you could enjoy them too:

Apple Dumplings with Blackberry Sauce
Pastry Crust for a 2 crust pie
2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 medium apples, peeled and cored
2 T. butter
1 eggyolk

Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl or on a plate
Peel and core apples, roll them in sugar/cinnamon mixture
Roll pastry into a rectangle
Cut lengthwise into strips
Starting at the top, spiral a pastry strip around each apple, overlapping slightly covering all but the hole at the top.
Moisten edges with water and press edges to seal.
Place in baking dish, sides not touching, spoon melted butter into centers.
Brush with eggyolk mixed with 2 tsp. water
Roll in more sugar/cinnamon
Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes until apples are just getting soft.
While apples are baking: mix a cup of blackberries about 1/2 c. sugar in pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour onto and into apples for the last 10 minutes of baking. Serve with ice cream.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Guess where I'm going?

I'm getting excited! Next Thursday I leave for Mackinaw Island.
My mother in law is taking me and my 2 sisters in law to a conference.
It's called Win-Some-Women.
It's a Christian conference and the keynote speaker is Tony Campolo and
Gracia Burnham- I didn't realize who this was until I looked at her info:


On May 27, 2001, while celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary at Dos Palmas Resort off PalawanIsland, in the Philipines, Gracia and Martin Burnham were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a militant group of Muslims. They were taken to BasilanIsland, an ASG stronghold. Remaining in captivity for 376 days, the Burnhams faced near starvation, constant exhaustion, frequent gun battles, coldhearted murder, and intense soul-searching about a God who sometimes seemed to have forgotten them. On June 7, 2002, in a firefight between the Philippine military and the Abu Sayyaf Group, Martin was killed and Gracia, although wounded, was rescued.

Selah is going to be performing at the conference as well. It should be such a good conference.

If that isn't enough- it's held at the Grand Hotel and we get to stay there! I've never been to the hotel before- it is so beautiful from the outside- I can't wait to see inside!

This will be such a nice little vacation- I hope Mark fares well being home with the kids by himself!!

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Poor Arianna

This past Saturday, Arianna informed me she had some bumps on her gum. When I looked, I couldn't believe what I saw. She had 2 huge bumps on her gum that was obviously infected.
Today we went to the dentist and yes- it was abscessed. It needed to be pulled.
She did so well and was so brave. I was very proud of her!
She ended up getting to stay home the rest of the day because we had some excess bleeding to deal with.

She's doing good now and she's glad it's over with!

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Monday, October 06, 2008

It's all in your perspective

When you think of crab apples perhaps this is what comes to mind:

Or maybe it's this:

Well I'm typing this on Sunday night and I'm here to tell you that today when I think of crab apples- I think of this:

and also this:


Did anyone see a black cloud hanging over my house today?? Mark and I were about ready to pull our hair out. They were both sooooo crabby. That Russian temper was really blazing today.

There's not even a good excuse- it's not like they got to bed late or anything and it was both of them. There wasn't anything they could agree on- everything turned into an argument. It got to the point that I banned each of them from the other's room and they are not to play with anything that isn't theirs.

It is now 7:00 and they are both in bed for the night and I'm breathing a sigh of relief. I'm appreciating my dog more and more!

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Friday, October 03, 2008

My hubby

How Well Do You Know Your Husband?
I saw this idea on both Ginger and Jodi's blogs and wanted to do it too!

1. Sitting in front of the TV, what's on the screen? Nascar or Survivor
2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Ranch
3. What's one food he doesn't like? kidney beans
4. Where did he go to high school? a school in connecticut and then his senior year at Hudsonville HS
5. What size shoe does he wear? 10 1/2
6. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? camera lenses
7. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Mancino's Roast Beef Combo
8. What would he eat everyday if he could? Amish frosting
9. What is his favorite cereal? Apple Jacks
10. What would he never wear? Hawaiian shirts
11. What is his favorite sports team? I guess Matt Kenseth Racing Team
12. Who is his best friend? me (and he is mine!)
13. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Complain about other drivers
14. How many states has he lived in? Two
15. What is his heritage? Dutch
16. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind of cake? He would want a Bill Knapps Chocolate Cake
17. Did he play sports in high school? No- too busy working
18. What could he spend hours doing? Taking pictures

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Mack's Birthday

I didn't want Mack to feel left out so I though I better put his birthday on here too.
Tuesday Mack turned 7. Nick wanted to give him something, so he bought him a new toy.
He loved it!!
Happy Birthday Mack.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Things that start with M

Sandra did this on her blog and I decided to play along.
She gave me the letter M.

The goal of the game - List 10 things you love that begin with the letter you are assigned.
If you want to play along just leave me a comment and I'll assign you a letter.

1. Mark- my husband
2. Mack- my dog
3. Mari- my sister
4. Mixed breed puppies- like Oscar
5. Magazine- Namely "People Magazine"
6. Manicotti
7. Malts- Mark makes the best!
8. Mexican Food
9. Morocco- would love to visit there sometime
10. Monkey Bread

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